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FACTS QUALIFIED ADVISER - FQA ELECTION

We now ask that you take the time to read the candidates biographies below and select the two members who you would like to represent your sector.

The closing date for voting is Friday 25 January 2019.

CANDIDATES

 


Harry Webber

Although young in the industry, at 27 years old, I have worked across many areas of the agronomy sector, and in some cases brought in experience from outside it as well. I began by growing up on the mixed, family-run farm, in Essex, and working many hours outside of school and university to help it run. I studied archaeology at first, but after working in Swindon for a precision farming and agronomy company (and becoming an FQA) I decided to merge my interests. I am just finishing a PhD in the precision farming and archaeology, looking at the impact of archaeological sites on soil and crop variability. While doing this I also became BASIS qualified and have been implementing those agronomic skills on the family farm since, as well as keeping abreast of the academic side of things in the sector. As well as this diverse mix, I have also had an interest in how policy decisions are made based on scientific and technical evidence. This has led me into a part-time position within DEFRA now working in the fertiliser policy team and sit on a number of nutrient management committees as well as continually learning more and more about the fertiliser sector. As such I feel I am a balanced and broadly experienced individual who wants to represent the sector as best possible in the currently challenging agronomic landscape.



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David McLellan

I have been working in the Horticulture and Agriculture sectors for 25 years.

I have experience in most facets of conventional and organic horticulture management from agronomy to management in operations, postharvest, research and development and market development both in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

I have been involved in restructuring management and quality systems in horticulture operations in both hemispheres as well as leading teams focused on technical, research and development developing national strategies for research and pathogen incursions as well as novel modelling (Braeburn Risk Assessment Model) for commercial applications on pip fruit now used as a New Zealand standard.

I have also represented employers at national and international level on industry research and development, technical and marketing panels including sitting on the National Research and Development committees for NZCGI (Citrus), Pipfruit NZ and the Persimmon Industry Council as well as the European Coordinated Integrated Pest Management Group and I currently sit on the DEFRA/AHDB Horticulture Technical Working Group for RB209.

My career includes being a farmer, agronomist and technical manager as well as leading the Crop Protection Research Team at AHDB Horticulture and for the last three years have worked for Plant Impact Ltd who develop crop enhancement fertilisers and bio stimulants for agricultural and horticultural crops.

I currently sit on the DEFRA/AHDB Horticulture Technical Working Group for RB209.

I am interested in becoming the FACTS qualified member on the BASIS membership committee.


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Scott Garnett

I have worked in the fertiliser industry for the last 20 years, during this time I have held positions within the UK and globally. I have worked in all crop sectors and done many years researching nutrients within crops, I have worked with control release fertiliser, slow release fertiliser, base fertiliser, fertigation and foliar feeding of crops around the world.

For the last 6 years I have held the position of head of Agronomy within Europe for one of the largest fertiliser companies in the world. My role now includes training of new agronomists within the UK for our distributors, I also set up and manage trials within the UK and Europe mainly on OSR, wheat, grassland and potatoes. I also get invited to talk at events around Europe on plant nutrients and how we can use them more effectively.


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Edward Burton

I have worked in agriculture all my working life in many sectors of the industry. I have a broad understanding of nutrient use and I keep abreast of the latest developments in all aspects of nutrient crop sciences. Having been involved in Local Government for 20 years, I have a good understanding of all aspects of committee working.

I currently also sit as Chairman of the East Riding LGPS Local Pensions Board. I am not seeking re-election to the East Riding Council in May 2019, I wish to devote my time and concentrate on my work in Agriculture.

I feel I have the relevant experience and knowledge and I would like to represent the Fertiliser sector on the BASIS Membership Committee.


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Jeremy Hitcham

I have been in fertiliser all my life. It is a way of life for me.
I worked for J & H Bunn Ltd from a young age and then before I went to Agricultural College.

I have made fertiliser, delivered fertiliser and advise fertiliser. I worked for J & H Bunn Ltd for 19 years and decided to stay on when we sold to Koch Industries in 2011. In total I worked for both companies for 25 years. For most of my working life I have been a technical based nutrient specialist working not only directly on farms but also behind the scenes helping colleagues and customers design nutrient management systems to best suit their needs. I also helped run a large fertiliser contracting business, B & G spreaders Ltd that at the time was spreading over 150000 acres throughout East Anglia. Having exited Bunn, I now have a Consultancy, Fertiliser Ltd and in 2017 with colleagues from Bunn invested in and established Payne Crop Nutrition Ltd, manufacturing bespoke specialist fertiliser blends in East Anglia. There I am Technical Director. I co-own Bio- Farming Ltd a business that is concerned with soil improvement and sustainable agriculture. Over the last 27 years I have developed a thorough 360 perspective of the fertiliser industry that I love.

I am a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Farmers and have served for nearly 20 years as a FACTS examiner.

I am passionate about agriculture and fertiliser innovation and as such would welcome the opportunity to be invited onto the BASIS membership committee.


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Peter Lindsay

I have been a full member of the BASIS Professional Register for around 16 years since passing both the FACTS and BASIS courses. Working for SAC Consulting (part of SRUC) I provide independent agronomy services to farmers in East Scotland backed up by independent research carried out by crop specialists within SRUC. I have gained considerable experience in the last 16 years working with farms, big and small, advising on all aspects of the crop production cycle, from rotation through to providing spray and fertiliser recommendations, seeking to optimise productivity in a sustainable fashion, both for the environment and for the farming business. I was born and brought up on the family farm on which I still reside running a mixed farm with cattle and combinable cropping enterprises


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Barry Bell

I have recently taken early retirement and now have time to devote to committees which would maintain my interest in the agricultural sector. I have been heavily involved in fertiliser plans for farmers during my time with Carrs Billington.

My FACTS number is FE/1424; Basis account number is 20001908. I am AMTRA (Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority), FACTS (Fertiliser Advisors Certification and Training Scheme) and FAR ( Feed Advisors Register) qualified.

My working history is as follows:

1976 Commenced farm work with a day release course at Newton Rigg.
1977 National Certificate in Agriculture, Newton Rigg. 1978 Farm work.
1979 Attended Reasheath, achieving Advanced National Certificate in Agriculture and Dairy Herd Management.
1981 Herd Manager role responsible for 100 dairy cows and 100 beef cattle.
1983 Farm Manager role responsible for 270 dairy cows and followers, 120 beef cattle with cereals grown to feed them.
1995 Feed and fertiliser salesperson for Carrs Billington Agriculture.
2003 Branch Manager of Carlisle for Carrs Billington Agriculture.
2014 Regional Branch Manager of Carlisle, Penrith, Appleby, Wigton and Longtown for Carrs Billington Agriculture.
1995 - 2012 active member of Brampton Milk Study Group. October 2018 Early retirement.


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Chris Leslie

Chris farms 1200 hectares in hand, and manages the agronomy and spraying on a further 700 hectares with Greenshields Agri. Growing cereals, peas, oil seeds, carrots and milling oats, the business relies on technology and a strong team to ensure they deliver high quality produce in a timely manner. The team utilizes modern technologies, including RTk and section control on sprayers and drills controlled by Gatekeeper farm software to produce a paperless working office, on the ground we practice non inversion tillage to a greater extent with a strong focus to reduced tillage. Cultural control methods are practiced where ever possible to minimize plant protection products, straw raking and low disturbance tines are very much in use, looking forward we are aiming to use more control traffic techniques as the opportunities arise along with continuing our trials with direct drilling in order to look after the soil.

BASIS and FACTS qualified, Chris is a Director of Scottish Borders Produce and a graduate of the Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Program. There is a strong Bond with Scottish Agronomy who help with forward planning and independent trials which fits with my style of agronomy to only apply what is necessary or productive.

He firmly believes in collaboration and is keen to explore how businesses can better integrate with each other to develop sustainable farming businesses in a very difficult agricultural climate.

Chris has a wife and young family, and has a keen interest in rugby, shooting, fishing, curling and swimming in his spare time


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David Robinson

With over 40 years in the agricultural sector David started his career as a hybrid wheat breeder at Nickerson’s seeds (now Limagrain) and has retained a keen interest in varieties throughout his years in agriculture. After a short spell with Norsk hydro as territory manager he then moved on to set up the Lincolnshire cereal centre which then became part of Arable research centres, (ARC) ARC was set up to study local agronomic questions that were on behalf of growers in England, the essence of the system was to deliver impartial agronomy advice across a range of topics from varieties, seed rates, nutrition and all crop protection issues, based mainly upon in house R&D. This information was delivered to its fee paying membership by both written word and in field topical advice. As ARC expanded its membership it eventually merged with Morley Research Centres to become The Arable Group (TAG) David along with his responsibilities for the growers in Eastern and Northern England was also promoted to managing director for TAG and streamlined many of the systems within TAG.

David oversaw the merger with NIAB to form today’s NIAB TAG business. After 25 years within this business he then wanted the opportunity to form a farmer only agronomy group and in conjunction with Frontier agriculture set up Crop Dynamics which is a unique business model that offers impartial agronomy advice to a fee paying farmers who wish to become involved. David currently has 7 Crop Dynamics farmer groups that range from south Lincolnshire to the Scottish borders and advises on all aspects of combinable crop agronomy. Information and recommendations are based on trial results from a range of in house trials, AHDB work and other sources of literary information. One of the main areas of study has been based on a long term rotations and cultivations project in East Nottinghamshire looking at ways of supporting herbicide use for the control of high populations of black-grass.

David has served 6 years with HGCA/AHBD on the RL winter barley advisory committee and has just completed a 6 year spell on the AHDB R&KT committee. He is currently the chairman of the PGRO pulse panel committee.


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Mark Botting

Is a Chartered Scientist, a Chartered Chemist, and Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and has been the Analytical Laboratory Manager for Fruit Advisory Services Team (FAST) LLP since 1999 and a Facts Qualified Advisor since 2002. Raised on a mixed arable, fruit, hops, and livestock farm in Kent, Mark started his career as an Analytical Chemist in the confectionary industry before moving to ICI Agriculture’s Plant Protection division in a formulation stability testing role, then to a plant and soil nutrient testing role as Laboratory Manager at FAST.

FAST is a leading independent horticulture consultancy in the UK and provides independent specialist advice, analytical services, training, and trials facilities mainly to fruit growers and Mark’s position is pivotal providing professional nutrient management advice to farmers and growers, agronomists, and consultants. FAST became a founder member of the Professional Agricultural Analysis Group (PAAG) in 2009 and Mark represents FAST on this group. PAAG is a central plank in the joint industry effort to promote the value of good nutrient management for meeting farmers’ production and environmental targets.


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Kevin Havekes

Agriculture has always been a core influence throughout my family and personal history and I am the 4th generation to work within the industry. This started at an early age, growing up around my Uncle and Grandfather’s dairy farm and working for my father at his agricultural merchant business in Ontario Canada. My academic qualifications include an Advanced Diploma in Agriculture from the University of Guelph and practical experience gained in various advisor and technical roles in field crops since 2002. Further personal development continued with accreditation as a Certified Crop Advisor both in Ontario and Internationally. In 2013 I relocated to Northern Ireland and began working in a technical advisor role for Mortons, covering Co. Antrim in 2014. My credentials continued in 2015 as I earned my FACTS qualification and my BASIS qualification in crop protection in 2016, both of which I still maintain.

In May 2016 I took on the role of Limestone Sales Manager with Kilwaughter Minerals Ltd, located in Larne, Co. Antrim and was tasked with growing the agricultural products division. I’ve delivered growth of almost 40% in this 2 year period which we continue to develop and build. In my role at Kilwaughter, I am regularly in contact with growers, advisors, sales representatives and merchants in person, by phone, email and at trade shows and presenting at industry events. I am regularly involved in research projects related to crop response to lime usage and how Kilwaughter can deliver products for the needs of the agricultural industry. My passion for farming and agriculture continues into my spare time, when I work closely with a local dairy farmer in Co. Antrim, helping out with various tasks around the farm, including nutrient application. targets.


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